Common name: iridescent shark
Synonyms and Other Names: Pangasius hypophthalmus (Sauvage, 1878), Pangasius sutchi Fowler, 1937; tra, swai, striped catfish, sutchi catfish
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Pangasianodon hypophthalmus is similar in body shape to blue (Ictalurus furcatus) and channel catfish (I. punctatus), but can be generally distinguished by the number of pairs of barbels around the mouth: P. hypophthalmus has only two pairs of maxillary barbels (at the corner of the mouth), whereas Ictalurus spp. have four pairs of barbels including chin (below the mouth) and nasal (above the mouth) barbels.
Size: 130 cm SL.
Native Range: Southeast Asia; Mekong and Chao Phraya rivers and Maeklong basins (Van Zalinge et al. 2002). Introduced into additional river basins for aquaculture (Roberts and Vidthayanon 1991).
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Puerto Rico &
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Pangasianodon hypophthalmus are found here.
Table last updated 9/30/2022
† Populations may not be currently present.
Ecology: Inhabits main channels of large rivers, moving to floodplains and marshy areas during flooding in the rainy season. Omnivorous, primarily feeding on algae, zooplankton, crustaceans, and fishes. Large migratory spawner, capable of long distance movements (>300 km) upstream in major rivers in Southeast Asia to spawning areas in northeastern Cambodia (Vidthayanon and Hogan 2011; Van Zalinge et al. 2002).
Means of Introduction: Unknown. Likely aquarium release as it is common in the trade.
Status: Unknown; likely failed.
References: (click for full references)
Ng, H.H. 2011. Platytropius siamensis
. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. http://www.iucnredlist.org, visited on 28 February 2013.
Roberts, T.R. and C. Vidthayanon, 1991. Systematic revision of the Asian catfish family Pangasiidae, with biological observations and descriptions of three new species. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 143:97-144.
Shafland, P.L., K.B. Gestring, and M.S. Stanford. 2008. Florida's exotic freshwater fishes - 2007. Florida Scientist 71(3):220-245.
Van Zalinge, N., L. Sopha, N. Peng Bun, H. Kong, and J.Valbo-Jørgensen. 2002. Status of the Mekong Pangasianodon hypophthalmus resources, with special reference to the stock shared between Cambodia and Viet Nam. MRC Technical Paper No. 1, Mekong River Commission, Phnom Penh.
Vidthayanon, C., and Z. Hogan. 2011. Pangasianodon hypophthalmus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. http://www.iucnredlist.org, visited on 10 September 2012.
Neilson, M.E., Loftus, W.F., and Benson, A.
Revision Date: 11/28/2017
Peer Review Date: 2/28/2013
Neilson, M.E., Loftus, W.F., and Benson, A., 2022, Pangasianodon hypophthalmus (Sauvage, 1878): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2603, Revision Date: 11/28/2017, Peer Review Date: 2/28/2013, Access Date: 9/30/2022
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.